The upcoming Neverwinter Heart of Fire update comes with a full balancing pass that affects all classes to some extent. We’ll be going over all relevant aspects and tackle the most important points related to the current meta and builds within our extensive preview series. Today we analyze Devoted Clerics, which primarily see the Divine Oracle path nerfed to break the current multi-DC meta.
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Move Over Divine Oracle Clerics!
Breaking the multi-DC meta has been a long-term plan and the devs took further steps towards the goal with the Heart of Fire changes. Two nerfs to crucial buffing powers primarily hit Divine Oracle DCs that are running full support builds. Forgemaster’s Flame will completely lose its buffing component and Terrifying Impact’s group buffing gets halved. On top of this the debuff from Prophecy of Doom gets reduced by 50% as well.
These are fairly significant nerfs to the buffing capabilities of DO DCs, which first and foremost means AC will take over the reign from their peers. DOs in buffing roles are not quite dead however. They can still bring Hallowed Ground, and nerfed Prophecy of Doom plus Terrifying Insight, which is still better than what most of the competition can field. The math changes significantly if your AC DC is able to maintain both the HG and AA dailies, but only very few are capable to and at least in 10-char content DOs will still be able to contribute effectively.
Divine Oracles as DPS
As compensation to the buffing capability nerfs, DOs get a nice bump in terms DPS through an improved “Avatar of the Divine” Righteous capstone and higher personal buff from Terrifying Insight. Some players had quite some fun with DPS DCs on preview and already see the class filling roles as buff/DPS hybrid. The only real annoyance in that regard is that clerics can’t queue as DPS for randoms. The devs mentioned in the feedback that they are aware, but that changes to role management won’t come before Module 16.
Anointed Champions and Healers
While the other Paragon Path gets this big overhaul, little changes for Anointed Champions. You will most likely continue to run your current rotations and are not affected. If anything, AC/DCs will be even more requested. Also the update doesn’t do a lot for pure healing specs. But the way the game works now, nobody should play their Cleric that way anyway. Healing theoretically can be potent, but it’s simply not needed.
If you were playing DO and plan to migrate to the now superior AC support spec, don’t expect things to go smooth by the way. The required gear differs by a lot. Additionally ACs generally need higher item levels to be most effective, because they rely on power sharing. DOs on the contrary get most buffing from their powers and need less high-end gear.
Devoted Cleric players were already ready to trash their DOs, but in the end things might turn out ok for the Paragon. Buffing has been dialed back considerably, but even with all the nerfs the class is still viable in support slots. And then you might also have new DO DPS powerhouses incoming.
What you should discuss however is the question whether the devs chose the right path to fight the current meta. As players rightfully pointed out in the feedback threads, the issue isn’t necessarily two DCs in groups, but the current support heavy focus of the game. So instead of targeting a single Paragon, a more global solution might have been the better approach. But like we mentioned in other posts, this whole balancing thing is a two-part process that will extend until Module 16. We will definitely see more changes in the near future and we’re fairly sure power sharing and a general buff/debuff rework both are on the devs’ agenda.
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